After the logical suspension of the ExoMars mission, ESA will be able to console itself with the moon. The European Space Agency unveiled a few days ago RoboCrane and Daedalus, robots designed to explore the underground passages of the Moon. The work on these ultra-specialized lunar robots is carried out within the framework of the Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) and work on theEuropean Large Logistics Lander 3 (EL3).
The Daedalus lunar exploration rover
In detail, the two robots would work in collaboration: the RoboCrane robotic crane would indeed have the task of depositing the Daedalus rover in the lunar crevices. The ESA has even defined the exact area from which Daedalus could explore the depths of the Moon, i.e. the abyss of Marius Hills located in the Ocean of Storms. This exploration mission has a double scientific objective, on the one hand the collection of geological information on the Moon and on the other hand the precise 3D mapping of part of the network of underground tunnels located under the lunar surface.
Daedalus is very ambitious… but it will still take many years before this project becomes part of a real space mission. At best according to the ESA, RoboCrane and Daedalus could fly to the Moon in 2033, aboard of course an Ariane 6 rocket.